We did it! This week on August 18th, the Board of Supervisors, on a vote of 4 to 1 approved the purchase agreement for Painted Hills. This was the final step to permanently protect this amazing 286-acre property! The County is expected to close in September with the seller, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, with Painted Hills being added to Tucson Mountain Park. The cost will be $7.5 million plus interest and will be completed in five years. Initial funding will come from 2004 open space bond funds that were approved both by the Tucson City Council and the Board of Supervisors. Further funding may come from a future bond election or the Starr Pass Environmental Enhancement Fund.
This was many years in the making, and community involvement was key. The Coalition, Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association, and Tucson Mountain Park have long joined with area residents to advocate for this purchase and make it a reality. This expansion is an important piece of the puzzle to promote habitat connectivity and protect important open space. Painted Hills was once prioritized for development, but this was halted when water access was thwarted.
Located west of Tucson between Speedway and Anklam roads, Painted Hills will now be a place for area residents and visitors to enjoy. Dense saguaro stands will be protected, wildlife habitat will be conserved, and animals will have effective corridors for movement. We are looking forward to having Painted Hills as a protected community treasure.
For more information:
Check out this editorial by Supervisor Richard Elias and Councilmember Regina Romero.
Click here for the story on Painted Hills from KOLD News 13.